Saturday, August 09, 2008

My Olympics rants

I watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics last night and thought it was amazing and great. I was spellbound. One of the people watching with us was a German exchange student and she commented, "if Germany were to host an Olympics we would be unable to put on such a great display. We just don't have this kind of culture."
I wanted to argue that Western civilization and German history and culture were great in their own way, but I really couldn't. When it comes down to it the USA (or any Western country) would have hard time putting on such an awesome show. Sad but true IMO.
Now for the rant:
  • No baseball or softball in the next few Olympics? No judo coverage at all except on internet and then only for folks that have Windows Vista? The people that select the sports for the Olympics must be stupid. They put such inane activities as ping pong, trampoline, and synchronized swimming in the lineup and they swamp the network broadcasts with such lame sports that they can't find any time to broadcast any real sports like judo.
  • Beijing 2008 was a wonderful opportunity to have Taichi as a demo sport. That would have been cool.
  • If you're going to have such a lame lineup, why not have golf in the Olympics. Boring as it is to watch on TV, it is better than ping pong.
  • Professionals competing against amateurs is a terrible thing. As a child I was always so proud that our amateurs were able to do so well against countries that sponsored their athletes professionally. I was so proud that America was above sending their pros to the Olympics. Then they started with the basketball thing. Shame on them and shame on us for descending to that level.


  1. Unfortunatly here in the UK, there is also little Judo coverage apart from on the Internet. Im not sure if you saw todays coverage of Choi from Korea winning the gold in the Lightweight (could be wrong there). An excellent Te Guruma. Check it out here -

  2. I figured with NBC acquiring more channels that I'd see SOME judo, but the only channels it's on are the the NBC Korean and NBC Mandarin channels (both of which I can't view) :(

  3. Dang I don't have Vista! I had planned to watch some judo.


    Their taekwondo page is NOT user friendly nor is their schedule.

    I think it's being shown on TV but not sure. o

  4. FYI. Judo can be watched on a mac, too. And what was nice about the coverage is that there were no commercials, and no inane commentators.

  5. The ceremony was incredible. The NBC Olympics website, which does not seem to offer it all on video, is all the more pathetic by comparison.

  6. When I was young, I used to really enjoy the Olympics. It was a celebration of amateur sports and all that was right with sports.

    Now, with the professionals, the commercialization, ... Bah!

  7. My Olympics Rant:

    1. Good Show, China

    2. Building on the Amateur/Pro distinction. Olympics in America means that one American city/state is pulling the weight. Olympics in any other country means that they whole country pitches in; this is really the China Olympics.

    3. You can tell your German friend that the Germans made a powerful contribution -- most of those impressive buildings were designed by German firms.

  8. The ceremony was really fantastic. Ukraine is considering biding for hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics though there is a little chance that we'll win. BUT we'll (together with Poland) will host the 2012 European Football Championship which is the third major sporting event in the world after the Olympics and the FIFA World Championship!!!

  9. I gave up on the Olympics being able to hold any meaning for me, a long time ago (1996 in Atlanta, to be exact).
    What I mean is, they almost never delve into any sports that the majority of Americans are going to care about (Skiing? Gymnastics? What the heck?).
    I'm with you. Maybe the Olympics could win me back if they devoted some serious time to TKD (although I'm not so much into TKD) and judo, baseball (which is played seriously in over 100 countries), and took serious steps to restore integrity to the Games (ban professionals, conduct meaningful doping tests for once, stuff like that).
    But then, it would still be hard to find decent media coverage of the Games anyway, unless Obama competes in one of the events.

  10. Ping pong is huge is Asia. You want them to take out the sport that China is best at just when they're holding the games? :)

    Judo is getting short shift again. And I'm tired of the tech hurdles too. It's a bunch of BS IMO.

    BTW, taichichuan had no chance as a demo event. The Chinese wanted the whole sport of wushu included and the IOC rejected it. It was a huge blow to the Chinese. They're retaliated by having their Wushu World Cup at the same time as the Olympics. As if anyone cared. Haha.

  11. you can view judo at

    they have all the matches and some live feeds too.

    most of it is inane grip fighting but the last throw by Uchisibia was crazy, thats a headsplitter.

  12. see here:

    around the 2 minute mark

    and no vista required at nbc

  13. Yeah, I watched the judo online with Windows XP and had no problem whatsoever. It sucks that it had to be on a computer, though. I agree with the lineup. Even the equestrian isn't very exciting (sorry, horse people, sad but true). I'm looking forward to taekwondo, and it looks like they air it this Friday night during the primetime NBC coverage. Yeah, at midnight...I watched fencing online, too. The basketball team from USA is ludicrous! They should have used collegian athletes, not the trumped-up players in the NBA.


  14. ok, so at least some, of my judo rants were unfounded if not all of them ;-) I guess that;s the nature of a rant - it doesn't have to be justifiable - just printable...

    I got to watch some of the judo, including the 70KG women (ronda rousey got the bronze) and really enjoyed it, though I have to mention that the inane gripfighting (as bryce called it above) was really tiresome to watch.


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